- as it pushes for reforms and Ghana Housing Authority
Government is set to address issues of market imbalances, affordability, and accessibility that are associated with renting in the country, the Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has said.
According to him, government will implement a National Rental Assistance Scheme to, among other things, address the market imbalances in the rental housing market, and provide assistance to streamline processes for accessing rental accommodation for lower-income households, while leveraging toward quality improvement.
He also mentioned the reforming of the Rent Act 1963 (Act 220), which regulates renting and housing in the country to ensure sanity in the administration of rental housing and remove inherent constraints on housing supply.
“It has, therefore, become necessary to reform the existing legislation, remove inherent constraints on housing supply, maintain the protection it offers low-income and vulnerable tenants from abuse and arbitrary actions, and offer incentives which will stimulate private sector investment,” he said at the launch of the first commercial building –Adumuah Place – at Appolonia City in Accra.
To further address gaps and allow for best practices within the industry, he added that the Ministry of Works and Housing has initiated processes to establish the Ghana Housing Authority which will have the mandate to regulate, plan and manage housing developments in collaboration with private developers.
The minister also said there will be constant engagement with indigenous real estate developers, including the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), and other government agencies on possible collaborations to reduce the housing deficit.
According to Ghana Statistical Service, the 2021 Population and Housing Census data on structures, housing conditions and facilities showed a 33 percent reduction in the deficit, leaving the country’s current housing deficit at 1.8 million housing units.
However, given the population growth rate of 2.1 percent as of 2020, Mr. Asenso-Boakye said government is committed to providing the needed support and collaborate with the private sector to help reduce the housing deficit.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)
“To close the gap and deliver efficient public infrastructure and services, it is the policy of government to adopt Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) as a means of leveraging private sector resources, experiences and expertise to achieve the desired objectives,” he indicated.
The move, he is confident, will also increase the industry’s capability to further contribute to socio-economic development.
“The construction and property industry has witnessed a steady growth in recent times, and has been largely due to the involvement of the private sector. Although there has been a tremendous improvement by government in the provision of infrastructure across the country, there is still a gap that needs to be addressed.
“Government is not oblivious of the importance of investing in this industry as it holds the key to the sustainable development of our dear country. Indeed, the industry contributes to our national socio-economic development by providing significant employment opportunities for both skilled and non-skilled workers,” he said.